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Recently, I discovered that I’m an adult child of a malignant, narcissistic mother.

I’d always believed that my mother loved me and all her interference in my life was to make me better, stronger. Blindly, I trusted that she meant for me to be happy. But I also knew that … something was wrong. I never could do right by her and I just knew that something was wrong with me. She was inside my head, under my skin, causing me to drown. I lost my strength and discovered that I feared her.

These revelations took over a year – it was a whole process for me.

My life had fallen apart and I went to a specialized therapy clinic for help. There, I learned I was codependent. My therapist actually told me “you have a bad mother, you need to protect yourself from her.”

I was shocked.

I talked to my mother as I came out of the clinic and decided to break contact with her. Afterward, I felt so guilty and sunk into a very deep depression. I think I put all my energy into avoiding contact with her. I was stuck in bed, only leaving to go to therapy.

I couldn’t understand my mother’s attitude toward me. How could she be so crazy insensitive to what I was going through? I was obsessed with the question “why?” After seven months of therapy, I discovered that it was helpless to believe there was a way to save our relationship. I remember my therapist saying “no, I don’t think so. Any relationship with her, you’ll only get hurt.”

I cried so much. It was such a big loss. I finally understood how much she’d taken from me. How she enslaved me, took away everything I got, people that I loved. My mother had bullied me all of my life. The pain was indescribable; I was destroyed. Crying every day, having nightmares all night.

None of this made sense. I felt that she’d only rest once I’d killed myself. How could she be so awful to me? I did everything for her; gave her more than I had to give. Was it really just jealousy? Why? Why had she been so cruel to me? My therapist explained that she’s a narcissistic mother; she has narcissistic personality disorder. I was her extension. It was quite confusing so I turned to the internet for answers. I didn’t know what having a narcissistic mother meant.

There I found it. I understood the way I’d felt my whole life. I understood her attitude toward me.

My mother is a engulfing, malignant narcissist.

I learned the tactics of psychological manipulation: invalidation, gaslighting, parentification, triangulation, narcissistic rage. Convincing me to do the opposite of what my gut said. Denying my needs.

I was deadly shocked for I don’t know, months? I haven’t really recovered. My symptoms increased, I developed panic disorder, my self-esteem melted, felt so insecure talking to people or making changes in my life.

For five months, I stopped dealing with it – it was just too much. I’m still unable to deal with anything or anyone. I feel lost, I’m afraid that I’m too damaged to be able to be happy. I’m paralyzed. I have no idea who I am.

I’m 40 and I lost my childhood, my innocence, my adult life. I am sick, depressed, lonely, and terrified.

I discovered The Band Back Together Project, for which I am very grateful. Thanks to reading your stories, I now know that I did the right thing in stopping contact to my mother. That was really killing me.

I can understand all the pain I’m feeling. How badly I’m grieving this loss. To top it off, I discovered that my father also has narcissistic personality disorder.

So I’m the adult child of narcissistic parents.

I’ve been badly abused all of my life. No wonder I’m unable to do what I want and need, how absolutely everybody in my life has abused me, why I can’t stand up for myself.

Knowing that I am not alone and understanding my symptoms gives me hope. I understand that I need treatment and support. I’ll return to therapy which I hope can help me to learn to feel angry, to defend myself, to stop feeling guilty all the time. To allow me to have things, a family, someone that treats me well. I hope I’ll never have abusers in my life again.

I wish I could see what life is like. Until now, I’ve never had a life of my own to lead; I was just a stupid toy, trying to please everyone for love and attention. I want to learn to respect myself and set clear emotional boundaries with other people.

The hardest part is to see how damaged I am. That’s really scary.

Thank you, Band Back Together for giving me the opportunity to speak out. I don’t need to be ashamed; I was abused, I am a victim. Thank you for showing me that.

Can you, The Band, share your stories about being an adult child of narcissistic parents?

I really want to believe this emotional trauma will end and I will, at long last, be free.

Thank you.